UPDATE: "Invisible Wounds: Columbine to Sandy Hook" Keynote Address and FREE public screening and town-hall discussion of documentary film "BULLY"

Oct 01, 2013, 09:25 ET from Center for Safe Schools

2013 Pennsylvania Safe Schools Conference

HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Center for Safe Schools today announced that nearly 500 stakeholders from across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and beyond are convening in Grantville, Pa. for the sixteenth annual Safe Schools Conference October 1-2, 2013. The event includes an evening screening and discussion of the film BULLY, which is free and open to the public. The latest research in school safety and youth violence prevention; as well as effective program models and practices from state and national experts will be presented. The conference is sponsored by the Highmark Foundation.

The conference provides school leaders and personnel, law enforcement and community partners with the tools to create a positive school climate; one that supports academic success, learning and teaching in a safe and nurturing environment.

A keynote presentation "Invisible Wounds: Columbine to Sandy Hook" will be presented by Marleen Wong, associate dean and clinical professor, University of Southern California, School of Social Work, Los Angeles on Wednesday, October 2 at 8:30 a.m.  Wong, called "one of the pre-eminent experts in school crisis and recovery" by the White House and the "architect of school safety programs" by the Wall Street Journal, will provide a brief history of lessons learned from large-scale school tragedies and an overview of how traumatic events in schools can affect students and adults who work in and with schools, including the effects of secondary traumatic stress.

In observance of National Bullying Prevention Month, a special feature of the conference includes a free screening of the film BULLY, open to the public. All are invited to attend the film on Tuesday, October 1 at 7:00 p.m. at Holiday Inn Harrisburg-Hershey in Grantville, Pa. 

Over 13 million American kids will be bullied this year, making it the most common form of violence experienced by young people in the nation. The new documentary film BULLY, directed by Sundance and Emmy-award winning filmmaker, Lee Hirsch, brings human scale to this startling statistic, offering an intimate, unflinching look at how bullying has touched five kids and their families.

As teachers, administrators, kids and parents struggle to find answers BULLY examines the dire consequences of bullying through the testimony of strong and courageous youth. Through the power of their stories, the film aims to be a catalyst for change in the way we deal with bullying as parents, teachers, children and society as a whole. Parents play a vital role in supporting their kids, promoting upstander rather than bystander behavior, and teaching and modeling empathy in the home.

The screening will be followed by a facilitated discussion and question and answer period led by Center for Safe Schools experts; the Highmark Foundation will provide resources and refreshments to public in attendance.

"This year's conference includes practical resources and information to deal with safety issues that schools face daily – bullying prevention, conflict management, emergency response and crisis

management, and initiatives to address student mental health issues," said Lynn Cromley, Center for Safe Schools director.

The 2013 conference is presented by the Center for Safe Schools and sponsored by the Highmark Foundation. Partners include the Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and the Mid-Atlantic Equity Assistance Center; with sponsorship support from the Highmark Foundation.


The keynote address, general sessions and most workshops are open to the press and interviews with presenters and topic experts are available. The screening of the film BULLY is open and free to the public on Tuesday, October 1 at 7:00 p.m. in the Majestic Ballroom at Holiday Inn Harrisburg-Hershey in Grantville, Pa. Go to www.SafeSchools.info for the full agenda. Contact Aylissa Kiely at 717-903-0219 or akiely.tyndale@csc.csiu.org

About the Center for Safe Schools
For over two decades, the Center for Safe Schools has been committed to serving as a statewide resource for schools, law enforcement, parents and others communities on school safety and youth violence prevention. For more information, go to www.SafeSchools.info.

Aylissa Kiely
717-903-0219 akiely.tyndale@csc.csiu.org

SOURCE Center for Safe Schools